Ban Ki-Moon 311 Reuters.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
UNITED NATIONS - The Security Council unanimously recommended on Friday that Ban Ki-moon be re-elected as UN secretary-general, virtually assuring the South Korean diplomat of five more years in the top UN job.
The 192-nation General Assembly is planning to meet on Tuesday to formally reappoint Ban, 67, to a second term of office beginning on January 1, diplomats said.
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The council decision, originally planned for Thursday, was delayed for one day because one of the UN regional groups -- Latin America and the Caribbean -- had not agreed to endorse Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister.
Diplomats said the group had still not achieved consensus by Friday
morning, but the council went ahead with its recommendation. Endorsement
by regional groups is considered desirable but is not technically
"The Security Council ... recommends to the General Assembly that Mr.
Ban Ki-moon be appointed secretary-general of the United Nations for a
second term," said a resolution adopted without a vote by the 15-nation
Ban's re-election is a virtual certainty after the Security Council
recommendation, which followed agreement by its five permanent members
that they wanted him to continue in office. No other candidates have
been put forward.
In a statement in Brazil, where he was on a visit on Friday, Ban said he
was "deeply honored" by the council's vote. "I am proud of all we have
done together, even as I am aware of formidable challenges ahead," he
At a news conference in Brasilia, Ban pledged, if confirmed for a second
term, to broadly continue an agenda of sustainable development, climate
change, women's empowerment, nuclear disarmament and strengthening UN
humanitarian aid capacity.
"This needs strong support from member states. The secretary-general is just one person," he said.
Under an unwritten UN rule, the job of secretary-general rotates between
the world's regions and may not be held by a citizen of one of the five
permanent Security Council members -- the United States, Britain,
France, Russia and China.
It is normal for an incumbent to serve two five-year terms, although
Egypt's Boutros Boutros-Ghali was ousted after one term in 1996 by the
United States, which felt he had performed poorly over the war in
UN diplomats see Ban, noted for his self-deprecating manner and
imperfect command of English, as a tireless worker and inveterate
globe-trotter, but say his tenure so far has a mixed record on the
issues he has championed.
Global UN-led negotiations on climate change have made little progress,
and the UN role in combating world poverty has been challenged by the
rise of the Group of 20 nations.
Years of UN mediation in conflicts from Cyprus to Western Sahara have
produced no result so far. But Ban won a success in Ivory Coast this
year with a firm UN line on election results that led to the ouster of
Laurent Gbagbo, who had clung to the presidency despite world agreement
that he had lost the vote.
Ban has also won praise for his encouragement of the "Arab Spring" of
pro-democracy movements that has swept the Middle East and North Africa,
and his personal exhortations to the region's autocratic rulers not to
use force against protests.
Analysts say Ban has proved adept at staying on good terms with
important countries and -- unlike some of his predecessors -- has been
particularly sensitive to the wishes of the United States, which hosts
UN headquarters in New York.
That fact has led to some grumbling by left-wing governments in Latin
America and elsewhere. Western diplomats said Cuba and some other Latin
American countries were behind the delay in their group's endorsement of
Ban, although Havana's UN mission denied it was responsible.